Saturday, March 16, 2024

Turtles and worms

Zoë finished her grade 3 math curriculum last week (she's been doing challenge problems from this year and previewing next year's lessons this week). Despite being in kindergarten, Alexander is on track to finish his grade 1 math curriculum next week. And miraculously, Benjamin is only a week or two behind his goal to finish his math curriculum by the end of April, which means he's in good shape to finish by the end of May. 

The girls are working hard on their courses through BYU-Idaho and ASU. 

And we finished reading The Tragedy of King Lear today. 

Zoë learned about Georges Seurat's painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte and pointillism in her French class at co-op on Thursday. They used q-tips to make a pointilism-style painting in class and then Zoë came home and got all set up to continue painting. She painted all afternoon, making a large and beautiful painting of the Eiffel Tower...

...which she gifted to Grandpa before I could take a picture of it.

He came over for pie after playing pickle ball with Darla. Yesterday was Pie Day or Pi Day or whatever (March 14, 3.14) and we've been celebrating all week! 

Benjamin just happens to be learning all about pi right now, so he was particularly excited for Pi Day. 

On Thursday we had quiche for dinner (made by Miriam) and a peach-cherry-berry pie (made by Rachel) for dessert. 

On Wednesday we had pancakes for dinner.

On Tuesday we had chicken enchiladas.

On Monday we had crepes.

Today we had pizza and watched the 1990s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is a movie that really holds up quite well. Now Alexander is trying out phrases like, "Bodacious!" and "Radical!" And Phoebe really loves those "turtle men."

"Where are the turtle men now?" she would ask any time they weren't on the screen. "I can't see the turtle men! I really like the turtle men!"

She did not like Shredder (as well she shouldn't).

Fun fact: did you know the mouth and eyes of the Ninja Turtles were remote-controlled? I had to look that up because it was something I was wondering about. The kids were impressed that there was no CGI in this movie. The effects were really pretty great!

Fun fact #2: did you know that the voice of the original Elmo was the voice for Splinter?

Fun fact #3: did you know that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle theme song doesn't really make sense? Because they aren't turtles in a half-shell. They are turtles in a full-shell. They have both the the carapace (top) and the plastron (bottom) that's a full shell. And I never even thought about it until last night when Andrew and I were singing the song (and the girls were like, "Whaaaat?" and then we were like, "Oooh! Movie night—tomorrow!").

Fun fact #4: turtles evidently used to only have a half-shell, but fossil evidence of this was only discovered in the early 2000s, so the song still doesn't make sense. And if you, like I did, thought that the top shell evolved first (the carapace), you'd be wrong. It was the bottom shell (the plastron). Evidently this is also how turtles form embryonically (I was going to say "in utero" but, uh, turtles don't have uteruses...uteri?)

Fun fact #5: At the end of the movie, Splinter says, "I made a funny!" and that line became my little brother Patrick's catch phrase for quite some time. He loved that line and would use it every time he people would laugh at something he said (he went around saying ridiculously hilarious things as a toddler/preschooler).

Anyway, here's Zoë and Phoebe working on some more pointillism pieces Friday morning:

Alexander, meanwhile, was making rafts out of q-tips (he had made a boat in his Lego Challenge class the day before, and it was raining so he wanted to make a boat to float in the puddles). He and Phoebe went outside to test his boat (and Phoebe's container, which I straight up told her was a boat because I...didn't want to make a boat with her right after supervising painting time...I only have so much patience for any given day).

Here they are at the "best puddle in the neighbourhood" testing out their boats:

It was here Phoebe (re)discovered how delightful worms are. She spent a considerable amount of time collecting worms—dead and alive—and giving them rides on her "boat" (which I'm sure they all appreciated.

I didn't pay much attention to how Phoebe and Alexander made their entrance from outside. I had come in a few minutes before them, after Benjamin came outside and asked for help with a math problem. Alexander and Phoebe stayed outside to splash in puddles for a bit before coming inside. 

They were inside for several minutes, doing whatever, before Phoebe said, "Come look at my worm, Mom!"

She'd brought a little worm friend inside and was letting him wiggle around on the bench.

"Oh, sweetie," I said. "Worms need to stay outside. They won't do very well living in the house—they need nice wet dirt to live. They'll be much happier in the garden than inside our house."

"Worms live in dirt houses?" she asked.

"Exactly. Worms live in dirt houses. They can't live inside. Can you take that worm back outside."

"Okay!" she said cheerfully. "I will get them."


Yes, them.

She proceeded to scurry around the house retrieving the little wormies that she had deposited on various surfaces of our home. Did she find them all? I don't know.

"How many worms did you bring inside?" Rachel asked her.

"Maybe one, maybe two," Phoebe said mystically, holding up her little fingers (incorrectly) as she counted, "Three, four, five, six..." 

So who knows?

I'm sure that I deserve this. I was always bringing bugs inside when I was a kid (and...still do sometimes as an adult). Andrew does not understand this behaviour, but I think it's pretty normal. 

Ready for fun fact #6: considering all the multi-celled creatures on the planet—from centipedes and octopodes, whales and snails, ants and bats, snakes and skunks—the average number of legs any given creature has is 0.1!  That's practically zero! This is because of all the worm-like creatures on our planet (mostly microscopic nematodes) really bring our average down. 

When my friend Janelle asked me to guess this (Janelle is very fun to talk to; she used to work at the education center at the zoo), I was pretty sure it would have to be more than four, given the large number of arachnids, centipedes, and insects in the world—I mena, just how many ants are there on the planet?!—but I was way off. The minute she said 0.1 I immediately gasped, "WORMS!" 

I had neglected to consider their leg(lessness) in my calculation.

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